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October 26, 1677


I will be the first to admit that I have been negligent in keeping up this blog the past three weeks. I am not a man to shy away from my mistakes; to make excuses where an apology is required; to shrug off blame when the time has come to take responsibility. But the truth is that it is all Sean’s fault.

Since returning home from Indochina last month, Patrick has been an utterly changed man—he largely keeps to himself, and when he is in company, he barely utters a word. Quite frankly, this suits me very well indeed, but it has had an effect on Sean that is as utterly pathetic as it is insufferable. For two weeks on end now, my hallways have been a waiting area for London’s most notorious quacks—my withdrawing room a symposium for some of the least credible men on the planet—as Sean trots in (one following the other, in dizzying succession) doctor after doctor in an attempt to “cure” Patrick of his silent melancholy (as if such a thing could be considered anything other than a felicitous improvement upon his previous state of noisy silliness), and I have not had a moment’s peace in which to write. 

We have had an apothecary, who, with great fanfare, held Patrick’s nose and fed him castor oil (to be honest, this was actually quite entertaining); a physick, who covered our friend from head to toe in leeches (we later discovered that he charged by the leech); a herbalist, who left us with some leaves which have significantly improved my roast potatoes, but which utterly failed to bring about a change in Patrick beyond a fit of sneezing; a mesmerist, who succeeded only in hypnotizing the cat, which now refuses to eat any fish; and (tonight) an exorcist, who has been slapping Patrick across the face for such a long time now that it has genuinely ceased to be amusing.

Sean has promised me that this will be his last attempt at a cure, which is fortunate, since the next physician who enters my home will be fed to the dogs.


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